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Giving female leaders a boost

Singaporean women are the most confident among their APAC peers when it comes to career development, with nearly 40% of female middle managers believing they’ll be promoted within 12 months.

Another one third believe they will be promoted within two years, and 47% said they are willing to accept a promotion even if it affected their work-life balance.

These results by Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS), which surveyed 225 women Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore, suggest the region is poised to see more female representation, particularly at the senior management level.

However, many of these women feel they lack the skills needed to progress.

Only 20% of regional respondents believed their “company culture and mind-set supported the progression of women”, while many also blamed “the general lack of senior management positions as a barrier to moving up”.

“Gender diversity has a positive impact on company performance, it can improve innovation, help a business comply with its legal and moral obligations, and build more effective team participation between men and women,” Alison Baird, managing director for AMS APAC, said.

“However, it’s important to remember that gender diversity must encompass the entire workforce and at all levels – from entry level, all the way to the board.”

AMS suggested companies which want to better embrace gender diversity should start by ensuring there is an effective diversity strategy which is endorsed by senior leaders and aligned to the goals of female middle managers.

Companies should also encourage women to have easy access to training and developmental programmes, and understand how senior female role models are perceived.

“Improving women’s progression from middle to senior management will help generate a healthy pipeline of female talent for executive and board appointments, stronger operational performance and positive role modelling for the next generation,” Baird said.

“There are significant opportunities to boost profits and productivity if the capabilities of female senior managers are better utilised. What’s more, talent in general in Asia Pacific is becoming harder to find, and female managers are ideally placed to bridge the skills gap.”

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